Owen Barfield (1898-1997)

A Selective Chronology & Bibliography


Publications                                                                                                            Events


1898 (Nov. 9) Born, the youngest of four children, in a London suburb.


1917-1919 (Summer) Serves as a wireless operator with the Royal Engineers

during World War I.


1919 (Oct.) Begins studies at Wadham College, Oxford

having been postponed because of the war.


1921. Begins thesis that will later become Poetic Diction.


1923 (April) Marries Maud Douie.


1923. Becomes a follower of Rudolf Steiner & Anthroposophy.


The Silver Trumpet. 1925 (repr. 1986) [children’s fantasy]


History of English Words. 1926 (rev. ed. 1954)

   [the course of history through the changes in language]


Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning. 1928 (2nd ed. 1952, 3rd ed. 1973)

   [dedicated to C. S. Lewis]


1929. Barfield joins his father’s law firm in London,

& adopts first child, Alexander.


1935. Adopts 2nd child, Lucy,

 to whom C. S. Lewis dedicates The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe in 1950.


1936. C. S. Lewis dedicates his book The Allegory of Love to Barfield

With the note “wisest and best of all my unofficial teachers”.


Adopts 3rd child, Jeffrey.


Romanticism Comes of Age. 1944 (rev. ed. 1966)


“Poetic Diction & Legal Fiction” in Essays Presented to Charles Williams. 1947.


1949 (June 25) Barfield baptized in a Christian Church.


This Ever Diverse Pair. 1950 [autobiographical novel]


Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry. 1957 (repr. 1965)

   [an examination of science & religion; the material & immaterial world]


1959. Retires from practicing law.


Worlds Apart: A Dialogue of the Sixties. 1963.

   [a fictional discussion, in 3 parts, between 8 people of varied disciplines]


Unancestral Voices. 1965.


Speaker’s Meaning. 1967.


            Mark vs. Tristram: Correspondence between C. S. Lewis and Owen Barfield /

               ed. Walter Hooper. 1967.


The Case for Anthroposophy. 1970.


What Coleridge Thought. 1971.


The Rediscovery of Meaning, and Other Essays. 1979.


History, Guilt and Habit. 1979.


            Owen Barfield on C. S. Lewis / ed. G. B. Tennyson. 1989.


            A Barfield Sampler / ed. J. Clayton Hunter & T. Kranidas. 1993


1997 (Dec. 14) Barfield dies.


Works about Barfield

Contemporary Authors NRS 2 (1981)


Lionel Adey. C. S. Lewis’ Great War with Owen Barfield. University of Victoria, 1978.

Richard A. Hocks. “The ‘Other’ Postmodern Theorist: Owen Barfield’s Concept of 

   Consciousness” in Tradition & Discovery 18:1 (1991-2)

Walter Hooper. “Barfield, (Arthur) Owen” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


David Lavery. “An Owen Barfield Reader’s Guide” in VII 15 (1998) 97-112.


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